Chicago-based nonprofit i.c.stars works in three cities to train a more diverse IT workforce. After an intensive four-month training, graduates are equipped with the technical skills and business leadership to thrive in tech-enabled jobs. Microsoft has supported i.c.stars for 20 years and remains committed to ensuring all people have the opportunity and access to the life-changing power of technology. Watch Video
Chicago mom and i.c.stars graduate, Tierra, learned the business leadership and technical skills to be hired as a cloud support specialist and become the role model her family needed.
When a woman of color approached a white investor about her tech start up, he handed her his plate, mistaking her for the event’s cleaning crew. This type of racism is reflective of what entrepreneurs of color face when trying to build a tech company in a predominately white business sector. Milwaukee Business Journal dives deeper into the impact that a $50 million fund for divers founders could accomplish for Milwaukee’s tech. Read Article
The business leaders of Milwaukee say that mentorship, inclusivity, and location will improve diversity in the workforce.
Sarah Dollhausen-Clark, executive director of i.c.stars Milwaukee, admits that it is hard to pin-point just one thing that can benefit Milwaukee’s lack of diversity in the workforce, as there are many that stem from the raw statistics of the minority communities. However, she offers one large critique for companies who are shifting their focus to diversifying their staff. She proceeds to offer some of her own ideas to ensure this this transformation can begin happening in Milwaukee’s workforce.
CHICAGO – JUNE 12, 2020 – i.c.stars announced today its partnership with TechReady Illinois, an effort launched this week by P33 and Discovery Partners to help Illinois residents hurt by COVID-19 gain new digital skills.
More than one million Illinoisans filed for unemployment in the first nine weeks of the COVID-19 crisis, more than five times the same period of the Great Recession. The pandemic has further exacerbated the health and economic disparities among residents of underserved communities.
“For TechReady to advance inclusive tech growth, and to deliver tech-career opportunity to those who have historically been underrepresented in the digital economy like our Black and Latinx residents, we need partners who have a history and expertise working with these populations successfully,” said P33 Senior Vice President of Workforce Innovation Matthew Muench. “i.c.stars is a Chicago gem that […]
Working Nation Feature i.c.stars recently: Creating STEM job opportunities for lower-income adults.
Jobs in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) have outpaced overall job growth, according to the Pew Research Center — a 79 percent increase since 1990. Computer jobs have skyrocketed 338 percent. But when it comes to being a part of that amazing job growth, blacks and Hispanics are lagging behind. Read Article
Founded in 1998, i.c.stars creates opportunities for underserved communities by bridging the gap between resilient young adults and high-growth tech companies. The rigorous four-month leadership and technology training program gives low-income learners close to 1,000 hours of training in preparation for work at leading technology service providers and then supports them for 20 months afterward as they transition to high-paying, full-time employment. Read Article
The Stand + Together Foundation spent a day with i.c.stars: Recoding The Cycle Of Opportunity Through Tech-Focused Leadership Education
It’s a cold, gusty morning in downtown Chicago, where Rico Bryant shows up for work every day at a non-descript office building. He buzzes himself in under a small black awning, opens the door, and trots up two steps to press the elevator call button. There is nothing fancy about where he is headed—a third floor loft space on Dearborn Street, one block north of the House of Blues. But when he describes this place he lights up and says, “This is where the magic happens.” Read Article
In this episode broadcast live on November 22, 2019, host Melanie Adcock interviews staff members from i.c. Stars, a technology-based workforce development and leadership training program for low-income adults on their 20th anniversary. Featured guests were Paige Brown, Program Manager, Arely Dorsey, Workforce Manager, and Rico Bryant, Recruiter. Listen
Mikell is a high school dropout who learned to code at I.C. Stars, which she turned into a job as a software engineer at Accenture. She later taught coding at Dev Bootcamp. Five years ago, she and Kortney Ziegler launched ZaMLabs, an incubator focused on using tech for economic justice in marginalized communities.